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Arts Focus: Columbia Pike Blues Festival Weekend is June 18-20

This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Collaboration has long been the cornerstone of the Columbia Pike Blues Festival, one of Arlington’s most highly-anticipated events, presented by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization and programmed by Arlington Arts. This year a hybrid three-day Columbia Pike Blues Festival Weekend (Friday to Sunday, June 18, 19 and 20) combines live-streaming concerts and ticketed outdoor performances that will get you back into your summer groove!

Streaming concerts: 7:30 p.m. — June 18, 19 and 20

Three days of streaming concerts are a new feature made possible by a brand-new partnership with the popular “Live from The Rug Shop” Series sponsored by the Manoukian Brothers Oriental Rugs. The three concerts are:

  • Friday, June 18 — Stacy Brooks
    Stacy has been dubbed D.C.’s Queen of the Blues by her musical peers in Washington, D.C. She has multiple awards nominations under her belt and has won the D.C. Blues Battle of the Band and competed in the 30th Annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. More…
  • Saturday, June 19 — Deletta Gillespie
    Deletta Gillespie is a multi-disciplinary teaching and performing artist, playwright, and singer/songwriter. Her stage debut came in her mother’s nightclub act at age 6, and she’s been on stage ever since. Gillespie charms audiences with her energetic stage performances, and a voice that has been described as “soulfully beautiful.”
  • Sunday, June 20 — Sol Roots Band
    The Sol Roots band performs a mix of raw funk, deep blues, energetic rock, greasy soul and hypnotic grooves. Sol is a guitarist and vocalist who has toured with many roots, funk, blues and soul legends around the world as a part of Music Maker Revue. The band has shared the stage with acts such as Jon Cleary, Soulive, Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles, and many more. Sol Roots was awarded “Best Blues Act/Group” 2019 by The Wammies/The MusicianShip. “Sol performs a soulful blend of rock and blues, with a natural stage presence” — Jambase

Live Ticketed Concerts: Saturday, June 19
Fillmore Shopping Center (2705 Columbia Pike)

Get your groove on at your choice of three separate live outdoor performances. Access to the individual concerts will require a ticket. The venue will be cleared following each act to prepare for the next audience group. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, June 3 at 11 a.m. for a donation of your choosing to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO).

  • 1 p.m. — Robin Kapsalis, Vintage#18
    The first thing you notice when Vintage#18 hits the stage is Robbin Kapsalis’ white glass beaded fringe dress and white knee-hi boots as she sways on stage creating a hypnotic visual with the soul foundation of her voice: something between a Gladys Knight and Anita Baker. Mark Wenner of The Nighthawks says, “Robbin is a whirlwind of soulful excitement backed by one of the tightest trios in the trade.”
  • 2:30 p.m. — Cheick Hamala Diabate
    A D.C. staple when it comes to local authentic African musicians, Cheick brings his traditional West African plucked lute to the stage to please audiences that have included world leaders and the U.S. Congress. He also plays a mean banjo and guitar and has recorded and toured with American folk musicians, including banjo player Bob Carlin, a partnership that led to a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional World Music Album.
  • 4 p.m. — Carly Harvey
    Based out of Washington, D.C., Carly Harvey combines Blues, Jazz, Soul, & Americana roots styles to create a unique sound that calls to mind Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Nina Simone, with a little Ella Fitzgerald thrown in for good measure.

For links to the streaming concerts and to purchase tickets to one of Saturday’s three live performances, visit the Columbia Pike website.

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